Ann’s New Ride to Work

Ann similing and holding her phone

Ann Haumschild, Clerical Assistant, has worked at Lifeworks for the past 13 years. She used to ride a shared bus service every day to and from work. The ride into the office was perfect, but even though she lived only fifteen minutes from work, the time it took to return home varied; this made it challenging for her and her family to plan evenings together.

“I live with my folks and it was hard not being able to let them know exactly when I would be home. They would text, asking, ‘When are you going to be home?’ The bus would pick me up at 2:30pm and sometimes I got home at 3:30pm, but other times I would not get home until 5:00pm. It just depended on who else was riding the bus and the weather.”

Woman looking at phone to request a rideRealizing that a change was needed, Ann connected with her social worker and family to find another transportation option. Her social worker proposed that Ann enroll in a new pilot program designed to remove barriers to transportation.

Through a partnership between Dakota County Social Services and the rideshare service, Lyft, people who receive social services can request transportation to and from their place of employment and community offerings using a mobile app. For eligible riders like Ann, the cost of the trip is covered through Medicaid waivers. The pilot program was made possible through the Department of Human Services Innovation Grant.

Ann schedules rides through her phone each day and so far it’s been a great option for her.

I love it. It’s easy. You get to meet a lot of people and I’m getting home right on time. I’ve gained anywhere from an hour to two hours of time each day.